To The Daily Sun,
I have not had access to all the letters to The Daily Sun since April 2, so if I'm repeating what someone else has written about this topic, my apologies.
I was interested in a letter written by Jim McCoole, published on April 2, titled "16 words that are the most misunderstood in the history of the USA." His long letter makes an attempt to say the U.S. Constitution does indeed establish the USA as a "Christian nation".
Now I have more than a passing interest in U.S. history, however, I don't claim to be an expert. That said, the argument he made, which appeared to be well thought out, seemed sort of thin to me. I also knew I could be weak on my knowledge, so elected to do a bit more research to check Mr. McCoole's "facts".
I Googled "U.S. Constitution and Christianity." There were a lot of articles that came up. A majority of them didn't support Mr. McCoole's position, but the title of first article, on the first page appeared to, so I read it. The article was titled "Christianity is in the Constitution," written by Dave Miller, Ph.D., published by Apologetics Press, copyright 2008.
As I started to read the article, the words and ideas seemed very familiar to me. I checked back with Mr. McCoole's letter and was surprised to see, that except for the first couple of paragraphs, he had copied Mr. Miller's article (which does cite sources) word-for-word. But Mr. McCoole gives no references or credit to anyone. This usually means the author of the work has done the research and written the work. Clearly in this case that is not true. I don't know if Mr. McCoole used Mr. Miller's article directly, or is from some other unknown source. In any case it is not his own work and he needed to give proper credit for the piece.
In my mind this is plagiarism and copyright infringement. Mr. McCoole has done Mr. Miller, The Daily Sun, and the readers a great disservice. At the very least Mr. McCoole owes us all an apology. I will not editorialize about what I think of Mr. McCoole, nor his argument. Your readers can make up your own minds. But, I think readers of these letters had better do a little homework before believing all that's written as "facts" on these pages. Darn Google anyway! (With apologies to Terry Southern)
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